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Archive for April, 2011

Writing Well in The Workplace – A Lost Art?

April 14, 2011 2 comments

IMHO, one of the side effects  of the cacophony email we all troll through every day, is that we have lost some skill in writing well in the workplace.

Recently, I was in the midst of writing a company-wide email.  As I was editing, I peered over to something I keep posted near my desk.  This list of tips always helps keep my written communication at the office in check and helps ensure I’m writing clearly and as concise as possible.   I thought I would share.

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

Outline for Management Communication

  • This (recommends, analyzes, answers etc):  All communication should start by telling the reader what you are doing and why they should read it.  Add a 3-5 sentence executive summary.  Finish with who concurs with your work.
  • Background:  Short, direct summary of the salient info that the reader needs to understand your proposed action or summary.
  • Summary of Analysis or Recommendation:  The meat of the document and what the reader needs to understand or what you want them to do.
  • Basis or Rationale:  Why you believe what you do.  Keep to a maximum of three.  Anything after that the reader will not retain.  Rank in priority order
  • Rejected Alternate Solution:  Optional.  Should be used when making a reco and is your second best choice.  Use when you know the reader wants to look at a certain area but you decide it is not the best course of action.
  • Next steps:  What you propose to do, by when and by whom.  Use numbers if you want to sequence.  Use bullets if no particular order is necessary
  • Close and cc:  your signature and copy any appropriate parties.
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